The First Leap Program (First Leap) is an entrepreneurial readiness program for startup and emerging creative businesses coordinated by Chatham University’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship (CWE) and Bridgeway Capital’s Creative Business Accelerator (CBA).
Whether they identify as an artist, maker, designer, or craftsperson, creatives often enjoy sophisticated skills in making. But the business skills needed to turn a passion into a livelihood often remain underdeveloped. First Leap will provide creatives with the capability and confidence to become business owners ready to realize financial resilience and social impact. First Leap helps makers answer the question below:
- Are you a maker with a product or process ready for the market?
- Is your creative business stuck as a startup, but you want to grow?
- Are you ready to “take the leap” and turn your creative practice into a creative business?
- Can technology help your creative business become more cost-effective?
Through an application process, First Leap will select 10 startup and/or emerging creative businesses and guide them through an intensive, yet supportive, 7 month program delivered in 2 phases. Startups could include makers with prototypes, but no ideas on next steps. Emerging creative businesses are also encouraged to participate to sharpen entrepreneurial skills and strengthen business foundations.